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IPL 10, Match 41, KKR v RPS: Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI

A win separates the Kolkata Knight Riders from a confirmed berth in the playoffs, and they will look to seal the deal on Wednesday against RPS.

Kolkata Knight Riders IPL
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The Kolkata Knight Riders have been the dominant side when it comes to gunning down targets in this edition of the IPL so far. However, they had no answer to David Warner’s blistering knock. The SRH skipper blew the Knight Riders away with a stunning 126 to post a total in excess of 200. The Knight Riders were never really in contention, as the asking rate kept ballooning beyond their chasing capabilities.

KKR will have to pick up the broken pieces and regroup as they take on an increasingly potent Rising Pune Supergiant. The venue will be in favour of the Kolkata Knight Riders, as they haven’t lost a single chase at the Eden Gardens since 2012, a phenomenal record by any standards. However, KKR will be wary of their opposition given that RPS have scaled two targets when the team was under enormous pressure.

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MS Dhoni architected a brilliant last ball victory for the Supergiant with an unbeaten 61, while Ben Stokes brought up a stellar 100 to power his team to one of their most memorable victories. A win separates the Kolkata Knight Riders from a confirmed berth in the playoffs, and they will look to seal the deal on Wednesday against RPS. Here’s a look at the Kolkata Knight Riders’ predicted XI as they clash against the Rising Pune Supergiant at the Eden Gardens.

Openers (Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir)

Opposition bowlers have been able to subdue Sunil Narine’s stand-and-deliver treatment in the last three games. Narine’s last flamboyant knock came against the Royal Challengers Bangalore when he scored a quick-fire 34 to provide KKR with a blistering start. In hindsight, his knock was instrumental in KKR’s 131, which turned out to be more than enough for them to defend. Narine will look to put the pressure right back on the RPS bowlers come Wednesday.

In the bowling department, however, Sunil Narine has been a tad bit out-of-tune for his standards. Although his economy hasn’t been jarring, he has picked up wickets at an average of 35. Narine has been able to pick up at most 1 wicket a match this season. KKR will certainly need him to spin a web around the Supergiant batsmen.

With a tall ask ahead, skipper Gautam Gambhir failed to rise to the occasion against SRH. However, Gambhir has been in fine form. The captain came into the SRH game with consecutive scores in excess of 60. GG will look to power his side into the playoffs with another feisty and match-winning knock.

Middle order (Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ishank Jaggi)

If there’s anyone who has looked totally at ease against Rashid Khan, it’s been Robin Uthappa. Robbie has been is sizzling form. He’s looked very aggressive in his approach. Uthappa has 5 fifties this season and counting, with three of them coming in the last three games. Robin Uthappa is currently striking the ball at 170.66, second to his all-round strike rate of 171.55 back in 2010. Although David Warner is some distance ahead, Uthappa finds himself third in line for the Orange Cap.

Despite getting to starts, Manish Pandey hasn’t been able to get a big score under his belt following his match-winning 69 against the Delhi Daredevils. Pandey has been KKR’s go-to man in situations of crisis. However, he’s due for a long and match-saving inning.

As for Yusuf Pathan, it’s been another one of those dry seasons so far. Yusuf just hasn’t arrived in this tournament save his 59 against DD. In his defence, Pathan last batted in the bizarre RCB game prior to the match against the Sunrisers. However, he hasn’t been able to cash in on the opportunities he’s had with the bat. The Knight Riders will need him to fire in the business end of the tournament.

With neither Suryakumar Yadav nor Sheldon Jackson being able to make an impression with the bat, it calls for Ishank Jaggi’s inclusion in the team. The Jharkhand batsman looked in fine touch during the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He followed up his two half-centuries in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a quicker than run-a-ball 50 in the Deodhar Trophy. The youngster can also offer a few leg-breaks.

All-rounder (Rovman Powell)

It is only fitting that Rovman Powell is considered a junior version of the hard-hitting Andre Russell, who is out of this year’s IPL. KKR are perhaps beginning to feel Russell’s absence, as they have had issues with a slumping middle order. In particular, the big man Colin de Grandhomme has failed to bring his fireworks to the IPL.

The Windies all-rounder was the sensation of the 2016 Caribbean Premier League. He impressed one and all with a couple of swashbuckling performances in the semi-final and the final of the super50 tournament. Powell smashed 95 and 65 in the all-important games and also picked up 7 wickets in the two matches. His inclusion in their last few league games can only increase their chances of taking two cracks at the final.

Bowlers (Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav)

For far too long Boult’s been benched, and it’s time the Knight Riders once again unleash his swinging yorkers. In tandem with Nathan Coulter-Nile, who has suddenly taken this IPL by storm with his bowling, KKR could potentially have a brilliant duo of pace. Throw in an Umesh Yadav, and you’ve got one of the most hostile bowling attacks in the IPL by far.

Trent Boult has been rather unlucky in the first few games he’s played for the Knight Riders. Catches didn’t stick, and balls raced to the boundary in between fielders. He’s a much better bowler than his figures show this season.

Youngster Kuldeep Yadav will have a major role to play against an RPS batting line-up which thrives on pace. Rahul Tripathi, in particular, has looked at ease when facing the seamers, and the onus will be on Kuldeep to restrict the youngster. There’s also Ben Stokes, whose wicket has just doubled in price following his magnificent innings. Stokes being a left-hander will keep Kuldeep in business. Remember, this was the man who got the two prized wickets of MS Dhoni and Manoj Tiwary the last time these two sides met.

 

Some changes will be on the cards for the Knight Riders as they’d want to play with their best side for the last few matches of the league phase. A win against RPS at home will raise KKR’s confidence levels, and more importantly, put them back at the top of the table. We’re in for a mouth-watering contest between East and West at the Mecca of cricket.

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